The following is a statement issued by Filmbase announcing their closure. This is a sad day for the Irish film industry. We will have more as we absorb the news.
It is with great sadness that the staff, management and board of Filmbase announce that, after thirty two years of serving the Irish film community, the organisation is coming to a close. Filmbase has been fighting for many years against difficult financial circumstances and as a not for profit organisation that fight has always been a tough and challenging one. Debts which had accumulated at the organisation had reached a point where it was unrealistic for Filmbase to continue operations. This is a decision which has been reached with great sadness by all involved and the organisation will now move into Voluntary Liquidation.
Since 1986 Filmbase has occupied an important place in the Irish film landscape giving many of this country’s greatest film talents the early support they have needed to begin their careers and to develop their creative voices. Many people will remember Filmbase as a creative community, a hub to discuss and debate film and filmmaking, a networking space to meet likeminded filmmakers, and the catalyst for ideas, scripts, projects and partnerships which have enriched Irish film culture in innumerable ways.
From the beginning the ethos was to be a place rooted in the practice of making films with a hands-on approach. Writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, editors, actors and film technicians of all hues had a place and a community to belong to and all were welcome. It has evolved, changed and adapted over the years but at its heart it has always been a place for filmmakers.
It would be impossible to acknowledge individually the vast numbers of people who have contributed in amazing and positive ways to supporting the work of Filmbase and, just as importantly, to enhancing the spirit of community. There is a huge debt of gratitude due to an enormous number of very special people and Filmbase would like to thank each and every one for their incredible generosity and support over the years. Filmbase would never have been the place it was without the many members, filmmakers and film artists who left their imprint and marks behind.
Filmbase would like to thank RTE and TG4 for their early and continued support over many years for short film schemes and for giving so many filmmakers the opportunity to make their first films. For many years these provided some of the most valuable supports to emerging filmmakers and the library of wonderful stories and films created across these schemes is one of the most valuable legacies of Filmbase. We encourage everyone to seek out and view (or review) films from the catalogue to see where so many Irish filmmakers got started.
To our many friends and colleagues across the whole of the film and arts communities who have made the adventure so much more enjoyable we say our thank yous and ask you all to keep up the valuable work you are all doing. Irish culture and creativity has been enriched so much by your passion and dedication. We were honoured to have shared part of this mission with you and remind you that your work is more important now than ever.
In particular Filmbase would like to thank the Arts Council for supporting the organisation from its very earliest days. It has allowed Filmbase to develop and grow and to provide the space that it did to filmmakers and film artists for over thirty years. An enormous amount of incredible work, and an enormous amount of incredible film talent, has been enabled through their support for Filmbase and Irish Film is all the richer for that.
This decision was reached with great sadness. But even as the Filmbase closes everyone here takes great comfort and pride in knowing that its legacy lives on in the hundreds of films and thousands of filmmakers who made Filmbase part of their journey.